The times, they are a-changin’, as Future Husband and I get closer and closer to the big day. We’re down to less than 50 days left, and my overabundance of excitement has translated into less sleep and a less settled mind. (I need to set aside some time to devote to the calmness-of-mind practices I learned at the Zen Center.)
With an acute awareness of the transformative life change just a month or so ahead of us, Future Husband and I have taken to revisiting some of our old favorites. Perhaps it’s a subconscious hearkening to our earlier days of yore, but we’ve taken to watching our most favorite show of all time, “Arrested Development,” again.
“Arrested” has a special place in our hearts because first, it’s remarkable, and second, our history of watching the show pretty closely aligns with the course of our relationship. Our first experience with the joyous medley of off-the-wall characters was in Future Husband’s little attic room right near East Ave. Wegmans in Rochester, where we cuddled up with our kitty, Maeby (named after the show), knowing that every day brought me closer to my departure for a study abroad program in Big England (not the Little Britain Michael first met Rita in.) We made it through that four months of long-distance though, as we always did, and watching the show with friends late at night, after we’d made our way back from the pubs, reminded me of home, and of the happy times I’d had with Future Husband. I’d settled into the beloved show whenever I missed Future Husband for years after that — at Skidmore when we were going it long-distance and after we’d broken up when I was missing him terribly. When we got back together, we’d settle into the show when I was home on breaks, or to make Pittsburgh and New York City feel a little more like home, when Future Husband would come to visit me.
We’ve returned to the show at integral points in our lives, and I suppose a pre-matrimonial viewing is just as integral a point as any. The dysfunctional but lovable Bluth family is winning our hearts all over again, despite the fact that we’ve seen them up to their old tricks at least a dozen times. This show has stood the test of time and then some. Today, we’re finding ourselves laughing more than ever at new jokes we’d somehow missed and old zingers we’ve come to love and quote often.
I was first introduced to this comedic cult classic when it was on the air in 2004. Before the “Office,” or “Parks & Recreation,” or “Modern Family,” this show paved the way in terms of breaking down the third wall with documentary-style filming, using hand-held cameras. And the jokes, by gosh, the jokes. There’s rarely been a situation I’ve encountered in which an “Arrested” reference hasn’t been appropriate. I hate to say that a paltry TV show is Shakespeare-esque, but there it is. (I guess he wrote for the lowly masses too, right?) With its medley of characters, who find themselves in the most odd but serendipitous situations, and the amazing way the show ties in allusions (and “Illusions”) from past shows together, the formula for “Arrested” is pure genius.
The show has a surprising amount of twists and turns that center on marriage and crazy, cooky family love. For as rushed as parts of the third and final season felt, due to its shortened season and tragically early cancellation, I’ve always adored the plot line in which Charlize Theron played a simple-minded Brit/potential spy, who sincerely believed you could walk across the ocean to be with a missed loved one.
The love story between Michael and lovely Rita was more comical than romantic, but hey, laughter is the best medicine to a happy marriage. So while Michael may have overlooked Rita for who she truly was (hilarious spoiler alert here, which involves plastic fruit) the almost-wedding in “The Ocean Walker” made me think of our impending nuptials. (Gosh, I’m trying to sprinkle in some synonyms for “marriage” and the words sound so creepy. Nuptials? Matrimony? Ahh, oh well.)
Future Husband and I actually debated naming all of our tables after “Arrested Development” shows. With episode names like “Ready, Aim, Marry Me!” and “Let Them Eat Cake,” it was hard to resist. Ultimately though, despite the fact that I successfully converted two households of friends to “Arrested” fans, we worried it’d be a little too inside jokey for most of our guests. Plus, some of the other names we came up with, like “Afternoon Delight” and “Queen for a Day” were a little more questionable in content and, well, in terms of what they were alluding to. (You’ll have to watch the shows to find out why.)
All in all, “Arrested Development” is a true gem. It’s the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees. That’s all I’ve got for fun euphemisms for now. Sorry, folks, it’s still not quite 8 a.m. and I’m one sip into my coffee. But you get the idea. “Arrested,” obviously, has a great deal of sentimental value for Future Husband and I. There’s something incredibly satisfying about revisiting these classics that we watched while we were falling in love, when we were heartbroken and missing one another, when we’d reunited, and now, as we venture forward, into our new lives together.